For allegedly frustrating the Escravos bar to Warri port dredging project, a Niger Delta group, Niger Delta Good Governance Watch (NDGGW) has threatened to drag the senator representing Orlu senatorial district of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The group’s threat is coming against the backdrop of alleged plans by the senator and his cronies to frustrate the dredging of the Escravos bar to Warri port project, revealing that the persons behind the controversial calabar port dredging contract currently being investigated by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were behind the probe into the alleged infractions in the award of the contract of Warri Port dredging project by House of Representatives because of “vested interest”.
Raising the alarm over the plot to frustrate the project, the Niger Delta group while noting that the South East Senator among others were brains behind the House of Representatives probe, warned Mr. Uzodinma to as a matter of urgency and importance withdraw his nefarious activities or “we may be forced to give details of his failed contracts and invite the intervention of the EFCC”.
It would be recalled that the Federal Executive Council had approved the award of contract for the dredging of the Escravos bar and navigational tools on Wednesday April 11, 2018 to allow bigger vessels into the Warri port and make the port functional. Shortly after the contract was awarded, the House of Representatives on Thursday May 3, 2018 resolved through a motion moved by Mr. Ossai N. Ossai to probe alleged infractions in the award of the contract.
The House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways and Public Procurement had since started public hearing on the investigation.
NDGGW in a press statement signed by its President, Mr. Pawei Ikpidi and Secretary General, Mr. Godwin Okotie respectively and obtained by HardReporters correspondent, expressed dissatisfaction and surprise that the public hearing started without the committees inviting stakeholders from the Niger Delta, especially Delta State and the immediate Warri communities who would be the beneficiaries of the project to participate in the public hearing process.
The group said in place of the supposedly beneficiaries of the project, some unknown non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were the ones invited and mobilized by the sponsors of the probe to make presentation on behalf of the public and interested parties wherein they called for the cancellation of the dredging project.
The group claimed that the Senator representing Imo West Senator, Hope Uzodinma whose company, Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited had joint venture deal with Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) for the dredging of failed Calabar channel was behind the moves to frustrate the Warri Port dredging project.
“The very reliable information available to the Niger Delta Good Governance Watch is that a South East Senator and the brains behind the failed $56 million (fifty six million dollars) contract for dredging of Calabar channels who collected money without doing any dredging are behind the House of Representatives probe because of the failure of their preferred company to be awarded with the contract.
“The same Uzodimma was responsible for the failed multi billion naira Koko Shoreline Protection contract by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). It would interest the Nigerian public to know that the same Senator is also the promoter of the company that was awarded the failed multi billion naira Koko Shoreline Protection contract by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
According to the group, the Koko Shoreline Protection project in Delta State was abandoned by the contractor without any job done after collecting money running into billions of naira, and threatened to resist every attempt to frustrate the long awaited Warri Port dredging project.
While calling on the House of Representatives Speaker to call his colleagues allegedly being use to truncate the project to order or be prepared to face dire consequences of Niger Delta youths, warned Mr. Uzodinma to desist from his alleged nefarious activities in the region or face the wrath of the youths.
“We wish to warn that the people of Delta State and Niger Delta region would resist any attempt to frustrate the long awaited Escravos bar to Warri port dredging contract which has the capacity to revitalize the economy of Warri, Delta State and the Niger Delta region.
“As stakeholders, we have taken ownership of the Escravos bar to Warri dredging project and call on the management of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and the Ministry of Transportation to ensure that this project is timeously executed without any delay.
“We also call on the Chairmen and members of the House of Representative Committees on Ports, Harbours and Waterways and Public Procurement not to allow themselves to be used by selfish and unpatriotic individuals to frustrate this project for parochial reasons.
“The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dogara is hereby called upon to be on the side of the Nigerian people who earnestly desire the functionality of the maritime industry to create jobs and economic activities rather than a few who feed fat on collecting billions of naira for contracts without executing them.” the group stated.